Opterus Research and Development, Inc. proposes to develop and validate multi-scale thin-ply High Strain Composites (HSCs) constitutive modeling tools for incorporation into commercial finite element analysis codes. The constitutive models will capture the time-temperature-load-deformation viscoelastic characteristics common to HSCs as well as the yielding or permanent deformation associated with the large strains HSC materials are subjected to. The two main program components are 1) characterization of thin-ply HSCs through extensive testing and 2) multi-scale modeling of thin-ply HSCs at the constituent (matrix and fiber), lamina, and laminate levels. Of particular interest are modeling and characterizing the unique behaviors of highly spread tow woven textile HSCs. This combination of characterization and modeling will enable validated engineering tools to allow the predictive design of thin-ply HSC structures.
Primary NASA applications are thin-ply deployable composite hinges and booms for small satellite applications. These booms, including double-omega, shearless, slit-tube, tape-spring, and TRAC booms, are rolled on small diameter hubs. The booms can then be used to deploy solar sails, reflectors, antennas, solar arrays, sun shades, deorbit sails, sensor booms, etc. The thin-ply deployable composite hinges and booms are broadly applicable to NASA missions involving deployable structures and HSCs.
Applications include the range of solar sails, reflectors, antennas, solar arrays, sun shades, deorbit sails, sensor booms, etc. The technology is enabling for higher compaction, lighter weight systems and supports development and engineering processes that are faster and lower cost. Savings are achieved through a reduction in the number of iterative build and test cycles needed in development programs because system performance can be predicted more accurately prior to prototype fabrication